My SURPRISE Wedding in New York City!!

Our one-year anniversary is less than a week away so I thought I would share my love story with you guys.  I can promise you probably haven't heard one like this before! I was married in Central Park in my favorite city in the world, to the man of my dreams, with our closest friends and family, with every last thing so far above and beyond what I could have ever even hoped for..

And 48 hours before the wedding, I was on a vacation with my boyfriend and our two best friends and had NO idea I would be engaged, much less married by the end of the week WHAT. 

Let me give you the back story... 

<<< Scroll to the very bottom of this post for a quick video recap if you aren't into reading all of it >>>

445A4832.jpg

I met my husband, Cody, on a blind date set up from two of our friends 2 years ago in February.  We were both smitten early on, and after only a few months of dating, I felt certain I'd found my person.  He felt the same, and we discussed marriage a lot/looked at rings before Christmas that year.

 I was ADAMANT that I wanted to do a destination wedding with only our closest friends and family- as an introvert and someone who despises planning small details- I couldn't imagine anything more horrifying than a huge wedding with hundreds of people that needed to talk to me and endless stress about what color of flower petals needed to go on the tables. No thank you.

Cody would ask me very specific questions about what I would want my bridesmaids to wear, where I would want to go, what color would my flowers be, etc. So much so that I actually was half mad at him for making me daydream about our wedding before we were even engaged. 

Fast forward several months to a vacation we planned as boyfriend and girlfriend to NYC (#1 on my travel wish list) with my best friend and her husband (who conveniently are very talented photographers/videographers).

On the morning of vacation day 3, Cody proposed in front of Gapstow Bridge in Central Park, and I immediately said YES! 

IMG_3857.jpg
IMG_3870.jpg
IMG_3917.jpg

I then proceeded to call my mom and sister from a coffee shop to tell them I was engaged and they were "oh so surprised!" ;) We spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon at the MET while I literally (can't make this up people) only half-jokingly begged everyone to just let me elope to this wonderful man before we flew home. 

And then 3pm hit.. It was freezing cold, and I was ready for a serious nap after all the excitement.  Cody insisted that we stop for a picture in front of this bizarre statue in Central Park, and as I go to smile to the camera- I see my mom, my sister, my grandparents, Cody's family, some of our best friends, and I was very very confused.  

Cody then whispers into my ear "What do you say we get married on Tuesday?" I absolutely cannot explain my level of shock! I was so stunned I just cried in silence for a long time and physically felt really close to passing out. Haha!

My sweet, sweet people spent the next several hours explaining how my husband had said he wanted to make my wedding day so special and fun for me that I didn't have to plan a thing.  So they had all been secretly meeting every week and working TIRELESSLY to plan every single aspect of my dream wedding exactly the way I would want it while leaving me out of all the stress and planning. TALK ABOUT LOVE, PEOPLE!!

IMG_4030.jpg

And as it turns out, they had thought of truly everything.  To perfection. After the shock wore off, I can't tell you the joy and overwhelming love that filled me. The women hosted an intimate personal shower for me that evening, and I got to try on my wedding dress, my jacket, my shoes, all of it for the first time. It was truly surreal. 

The morning of the wedding, we woke up early to run to the courthouse to get our marriage license then back to the hotel to fix hair, do nails, get dressed, and head to Central Park (in an hour and a half haha).  Which was surprisingly not stressful at all and just so much fun! 

445A3937.jpg
445A3964.jpg
IMG_4131.jpg

My brother-in-law got ordained (in a different state, mind you) so he could officiate our sweet ceremony, and it was such a dream. 

445A4109.jpg
445A4119.jpg
445A4155.jpg
445A4567.jpg
445A4283.jpg
445A4217.jpg

My sweet in-laws had also planned a very special reception at Sarabeth's so we headed there after the ceremony. Plus more wedding pictures in the GORGEOUS scenery of New York City. And then HONEYMOON for the rest of the week! :

It was truly a week I'll never ever top as long as I live. I am still so overwhelmed with all the love our friends and family exhibited to make this whole crazy thing work!

I'm so thankful for a husband who is willing to really do the work to romance me and show me that I'm so incredibly loved. Being his wife has been my life's greatest blessing. 

445A5054.jpg
445A4925.jpg
445A4961.jpg
445A5174.jpg

Thank you so much for following along with my love story! I hope it's inspired some whimsy in you too! :) 

Click below for the quick video recap of our entire week (made by my VERY talented friend, Clark Underwood): 

Jess-sig.png
Cody Rains